To Civil Search or not to Civil Search?

What is a Civil case? A civil case deals with individuals or individual private entities, a business or corporation for example. In contrast to criminal cases which are against a state or society as a whole. If you didn’t shovel your sidewalk, and someone fell and was fatally injured, you would potentially face a civil case. If you intentionally pushed someone on your sidewalk and caused them to be fatally injured, you would potentially have a criminal case against you. Punishments in civil cases are often monetary payments and/or an order to change behavior versus jail time or probation in a criminal case.


Evidence is regarded differently in a civil case. The “preponderance of evidence” or a “clear and convincing evidence” are the standards set in civil cases. The analysis of preponderance of evidence involves proving there is a more than fifty percent chance the claim is true. Clear and convincing evidence proves that an issue is more likely to be true than untrue. But this is not to be confused with the beyond a reasonable doubt concerning criminal cases. O.J. Simpson occupied news stations in 1995 when he was on trail for the murder of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and Ron Goldman. He was acquitted of the criminal charges, but faced a civil suit for the wrongful death of both Nicole and Ron and paid $33.5 million to their families.


Civil searches provide employers with risk assessments. If you’re a non-profit and require a doctor as part of your staff, a civil search could provide you with possible malpractice and wrongful death information. If you operate a home care service, a civil search could provide you with possible negligence resulting in injury or death information. A landlord would benefit from a civil search, as it would provide possible damage to property on future tenants.


Civil cases are not criminal cases, but they can reveal the risk involved in hiring or renting to strangers. Intent is what differentiates criminal and civil, but would you want the risk of hiring someone whose negligence lead to a previous civil issue?

The information provided on this website is not to be considered legal advice. All information on this blog is for general information purposes only.


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